Summer of Soul by Quinci Nesbitt

Summer of Soul was a documentary made by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. This massive cultural event, Summer of Soul, showcased the Harlem Cultural Festival. This show was a series of live performances staged in the summer of 1969, in Harlem, Manhattan New York City. This event showcased African American music and culture and helped bring together massive communities of black people.

All different types of music was played at this festival. Funk, jazz, rock, blues, soul and R&B were very prevalent genres during the time and were performed by an array of artists. The show had more than 300,000 people in attendance. 

A few of the artists that performed at the festival were, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. 

The purpose of this Festival was to promote a sense of unity among black people in a very divisive time. It set the stage for major topics like non-violence in civil rights and Harlem’s role as a cultural refuge for African Americans. Many speakers came and stressed the importance of black people working together as a unit to overcoming the constant adversities they were facing. A lot of injustice and hardship was being experienced at the time. The festival was a message not just a showcase.

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